A few people are browsing the gun shops looking for a levergun to plink/hunt with and I just wanted to throw out a viable option.
Keep in mind that deer season in WV back in those days was nothing like the WV of today. Pocahontas, Pendleton and Randolph counties were your biggest deer producers and everybody and their brother flocked to these counties to hunt. I remember the first time deer hunting there any available camping area was taken with a dozen hunters in every spot and a hunter behind every tree opening morning. It could get dangerous once the liquor started flowing the opening morning approached. Dad wasn't to keen on his two boys being in the woods in these situations. He would always go in after daylight and be back at the truck well before dark. Today my brother and I hunt the same area and your lucky if you even see a person in the woods all week. People now stay closer to home and better deer numbers in other parts of the state than where we hunt in Pocahontas but we are drawn to the same location year after year because of the memories and good times.
Back in 1974 my dad bought me my first hunting rifle. His ideal was that if I improved my grades in school I could go with them that year. He purchased a Sears Model 100 Ted Williams clone of a Winchester 94 in a 30-30 caliber. Making the comparison of this gun with a Winchester 94 Trails End .357 mag AE that I bought a few years ago you can see the quality of the gun is just as equal if not better in some areas.
I prefer the wood on the Sears over the Winny and the components are the same. The Winny is on the left.
The Winny is a .357 AE (Angle Eject), whereas the Sears has a top ejection, thus you see more screws in the one side. You could add a scope mount to the side of the Sears just as you could with earlier Winchester models.
Components look the same.
I do believe the bluing on the Winchester is better, but I believe there is just as much quality parts and workmanship that went into the Sears model as the Winchester or at least when Winchester was nearing it end of it's run. I've seen several of the Sears on Gunbroker and a few in the racks but most of them appear to have been poorly treated in their life but if I would run across a nice looking one, I would have no fear in buying it.
The Sears gun was retired after 5 years and I moved on to bolt actions but in that time it took 3 deer using the iron sights. I have not hunted with it since and it will forever remain a safe queen (or at least a queens maid) as long as I'm alive. As for buying me the gun...my grades never improved so I didn't get to hunt with dad that year in Pocahontas but he did take me the last 2 days to an area closer to home but no deer were seen.